There is more to love and desire than just picking apples.
How boring one may think, a whole Food on Friday about apples! Well, leaving aside that apples are one of the most interesting, nourishing, tasty, and healthy ingredients you could add to a dish ~ an apple is the most mystical and spiritual of fruits.
Myths about the apple being the ultimate symbol of love, sex, and sin go much, much further back than the Bible’s Adam and Eve. The ancient Minoans had almost the same apple myth, and their civilisation goes back around 9,000 years. Most appropriately we are now in the star sign of Libra, and if you know your Myths of Libra you will also know that this is the time of Aphrodite, and her fruit is the apple ~ well it would be, wouldn’t it?
So to begin this week, from Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower we have apple cinnamon steel cut oatmeal. Now I’ve never liked oatmeal, mostly because I hate milk. But, this recipe appeals to me, and it uses almond milk ~ cool.
Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oatmeal
San Diego girl Averie Sunshine has this recipe for caramel apple sheet pan pancakes. Ready in 10 minutes for breakfast or brunch, or a dessert….. Oh Wow! (Perhaps I’d make the pancake mix from scratch.)
Caramel Apple Sheet Pan Pancakes
Some combinations are just meant to be, and this is one of the very best. From Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest we have apple butter and sage pork chops ~ perfect.
Apple Butter and Sage Pork Chops
Another main course, this time from Heather Christo, pasta with apples, bacon, sage, and chantrelle mushrooms ~ and this recipe is both gluten and dairy free. Never mind that so much, it both looks and sounds delicious. Apple and sage go so well together, and there is no truth in the rumour that apple is a female aphrodisiac….. sage is a different matter all together.
Pasta with Apples, Bacon, Sage, and Chantrelle Mushrooms
Lets move along to dessert, or something for afternoon tea and from Todd and Dianne, the White on Rice Couple there’s this spiced apple coffee cake. For me, this looks delicious. It’s a recipe I’d like to try, even though I can’t bake for love nor money…..
Spiced Apple Coffee Cake
And now a drink for those of us ho don’t want to get absolutely hammered on scrumpy, Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats has a cool post entitled; how to make an apple cider shandy. You know what? I don’t touch booze anymore , but if I did, I’d make a beeline for this at parties. Something else, you can cheat on this already alcoholic recipe and come up with something that’s almost as strong as scrumpy.
How To Make An Apple Cider Shandy
Finally for this week we have our recipe collection. From Country Living Magazine 60+ easy and delicious apple recipes to make this season ~ and amongst this cornucopia there’s this simple and easy garden tuna salad sandwich. You need not use white hot dog rolls if you want a healthier alternative such as a sprouted grain bread.
Garden Tuna Salad Sandwich
I have written a previous blog about apples.….
and one about the medicinal use of rosehips in apple cider vinegar
There is reality in the illusion of a tough journey to physical fitness.
A friend said to me that she does not do New Year Resolutions. Neither do I. Each and every single day I work to be just a bit better than I was yesterday. However, I know I have been spending too much time on mental and spiritual fitness, and not enough effort on my physical fitness. Therefore, starting right now I am on a new diet, exercise regime, a better way of living…
Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity. ~ John F. Kennedy
Booze, No alcohol whatsoever, and sobriety is not as easy as you may think. Instead drink water, lots of water, some with lemon juice and some with apple cider vinegar, some as coffee and some as green tea. Doctors say that we should be drinking about 4 pints of fluid a day, (is that Imperial or US pints?).
Carbohydrates are bad for me. Cut out refined carbohydrates. While it’s going to be difficult to avoid all carbohydrates, I am utterly determined to reduce refined carbohydrate to a minimum. And, do you know what? Here in England not eating wheat, being gluten free, cutting carbohydrates, is becoming commonplace for healthier women and men.
Coffee. On the other hand, I am not giving up coffee ~ (black), coffee is good for you, (probably). Nor am I giving up butter, olive oil, or red meat. I am adding more of the so-called superfoods; lemon, green tea, avocado, walnuts, apples, shallots, broccoli, cabbage and garlic to my diet In my spice rack, cumin, turmeric, paprika, thyme, sage and ginger, (curries are back on my menu) .
Calories. Reduce my calorie intake to some 2,200 a day. I’m about 7 pounds overweight for my height and build. The caffeine in the coffee I am going to continue to drink will help the weight loss thing.
Sleep. Get more sleep, my body is telling me that I should be getting 7 or 8 hours restful sleep every night. Most medical studies say the same thing. Currently, I’m only sleeping for 5 or so hours, less than that on a bad night.
Exercise. Walk don’t run. Do more Stair Laps. There are 56 steps between the lobby and my garret. Currently I am walking up and down these in sets of 5 at a time ~ I want to work up to 5 x 5 a day, which works out at 1400 steps ~ add in my normal trips to the ground floor and that’s a climb of just about 1,000 feet a day. Not a bad cardiovascular workout.
Definitely looking overweight in this picture.
SAGE IS AN IMPORTANT HERB FOR ADULT WOMEN
Like most herbs, common or garden sage is a plant packed with complex organoleptic phytochemicals. These compounds are why herbs are great for flavouring food. Organoleptic means affecting the senses, and as we all know there are a lot more than 5 of those. It’s commonly held that humans have 13 senses, but that list may not even scratch the surface. For example, how do you always know when someone is staring at you? Not only that, the complicated stuff in the plants we commonly use as herbs would also seem to bypass the senses and work directly on the brain to affect a person’s mental state. The unregarded sage, Salvia Officinalis, is chock-full of interesting compounds which would be illegal if you tried to buy them over-the-counter.
As any organic chemist will tell you, if you add chemical compounds together, you will often create something that is more spellbinding, than the sum of the individual effects. That is also what happens when we ingest herbs. The separate ‘drugs’ in herbs are engaging, but in combination they can be enthralling. The unique combination of chemicals in sage has a particularly strong influence upon adult women.
The modern urban man with a bit of a garden, balcony, doorstep can easily grow sage. Like a lot of herbs it it very tolerant of poor soil and sun. Sage also comes in a host of varieties ~ different sizes, colours, leaf patterns, in fact you could make yourself a sage garden. Sage reaches a height of about 2 feet, can be pretty rampant, grows best in full sun in slightly acid soil, pH 5.5 to 6.5, and the old growth should be cut back by about half in early spring. The herbs to grow along with common sage are parsley and clary sage. Neither sage nor clary will grow well indoors.
Sage is one of the essential culinary herbs, and it’s brilliant for the aspiring cook, as there are many recipes where you can make sage the single herbal ingredient, without having to bother with a host of other strange bits of green stuff with strange sounding names. One classic recipe is Fegato alla Toscana (sage seared calves liver, Toscana meaning Tuscany). The recipe also calls for parsley, sometimes called ‘the poor man’s marijuana.’
While common sage, (Salvia officialis), is packed with psychotropic drugs, diviner’s sage, (Salvia divornorum), is so psychedelic that its legality is under consideration in some US states.
The effective parts of the plant for culinary and medicinal uses are the leaves and flowering tops, and these are best gathered in spring. The active compounds in sage include; asparagine, borneol, camphene, eucalyptol, oestrogens, pinene, salvene, saponin, tannin, and thujone. Thujone has a very similar effect on the human mind as does the THC in marijuana. If you can get hold of a plant, diviner’s sage, (a.k.a. Mexican Mint Sage), contains a lot of Salvinorin A which targets the brain’s kappa opoid receptors. Salvorin A is the strongest natural hallucenogenic. Basically, sage has similar stuff in it as the wormwood used in absinthe.
Sage is best picked fresh and used straight away. You can easily dry it for use all year around, but dried sage isn’t always as effective as the fresh article. Don’t pick it after early autumn, in fact don’t pick much sage after the flowers have all gone.
Two very important words of warning. Diviner’s sage really is a potentially potent hallucenogenic. Pregnant womenshould avoid clary sage, it can bring on child labour. In fact if you are thinking about using sage for medicinal purposes, then it may be best to have a word with your doctor before you start experimenting.
Sage, especially clary sage, (Salvia sciarea), is a woman’s herb. The other spices herbs and oils to use with it if it’s to help a woman with anything at all are; cinnamon, geranium, jasmine, sandalwood and lemongrass. Mixing these with a lot of alcohol is not necessarily a brilliant idea unless the effect you are looking for is euphoric desire. In that case, run your lady a tub and add sage oil or fresh sage leaves to the water. Get a couple of scented candles in jasmine or sandalwood. Mix your lady an aphrodisiac drink ~ creme de cacao and tequila are good. Wash her hair and give her a head massage using fresh sage leaves or sage tincture ~ which also treats dandruff. If she’s a smoker give her a sage cigarette, which is also good for asthma.
The various types of sage have the following properties;
- Anti-asthmatic. If you suffer from asthma and must smoke, add dried sage to your tobacco, or just smoke sage and parsley.
- Antiseptic. ‘He who would live for aye, must eat sage in May.’ Sage kills staphyloccocus.
- Athrtitis. Sage is a useful anti-inflammatiry.
- Aphrodisiac. Enhances desire and performance.
- Aids digestion of food.
- Antisodiferous. Stops breath, flatulence, and sweat from smelling bad.
- Carminative. Cleanses the bowels. Helps deal with colic, flatulence, bloating, and belching.
- Cholagogic. Promotes the flow of bile from the gallbladder to the duodenum, aiding digestion and emulsifying fats.
- Emmenagogic. Helps to promote and ease menstrual discharge.
- Grey hair. If one rinses the first grey hairs with extract of sage, the natural colour will return.
- Hallucinogenic. Particularly diviner’s sage.
- Lesions. Sage helps with bed sores, nettle rash, and insect bites, itches, eczma, burns and cuts, and herpes.
- Heart disease. Particularly Salvia miltiorrhiza can be used to treat coronory artery disease such as angina.
- Soap. Women can usefully use fresh sage as part of their hair-care routines, remembering the possible side effects..
- Soporific. Especially clary sage.
- Magic. Salvia means to save, or to heal, as in; apply a healing salve. Sage is the symbol of the Virgin Mary, even though the herb itself is given masculine attributes. Sage is said to ease the pain of mourning, grant wishes, assist longevity, promote wisdom, and to offer protection. Sagacious means wise or shrewd.
The flowers, leaves and seeds of sage can be used fresh or dried. Fresh sage will keep a while in the refrigerator, and you can freeze it. Dried sage goes in the kitchen cupboards or just hang the stuff in bunches. Culinary Sage is used as indicated by whatever recipe you are using. One can also use fresh sage in salads, sauces, stuffings, tea, alcoholic drinks, fruit drinks, smoothies, floated in bath water, and as soap. Dried sage has a more intense flavour than fresh sage, and one can smoke the stuff. You can smudge both fresh and dried sage. Sage makes a good addition to dried flower arrangements and potpourri.